Are We The Creator Gods of the Gods We Believe Created Us?

I wonder, are the gods we credit with creating the universe actually the result of our shared human tendency to anthropomorphize good and evil? We have intent and motivation behind our actions and reactions and so feel the need to extend that awareness of choice, morality, and consequences onto the intangible, giving it form.

God. The Devil. Horus. Set. Ahura Mazda. Angra Mainyu.

Again and again in our collective religious history we see the duality of “good” and “evil”; “light” and “darkness”. We assign our gods a polarity, an alignment, and we concede our own responsibility to the influence of either of those sides. “The devil made me do it.” “I feel the spirit of the Lord.” But what if we’re just grouping together actions and ideals, separating them into benevolent and malevolent, and then attributing to them an identity, an intelligence that we can interact with. We are social beings and crave the connection with one another and again and again in history we find humans granting religious beings a sort of hyper-humanity; something we can understand and somewhat identify with while still being the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent beings we need them to be to serve the purpose we created them for.

What is good but the desire to extend kindness, love, protection, inclusiveness and understanding to others when one is given the opportunity to do so and to do so without the expectation that your actions will be reciprocated?

What is evil but the denial of those actions in favor of those that would see others impoverished, persecuted, injured, ostracized, and willfully ignorant of the feelings and wellbeing of others, while at the same time striving only for the benefit of the ego at the expense of others?

What would the world look like if we looked past our imagined personifications of good and evil and viewed them instead as metaphors. Rather than attributing their alignment with a spiritual entity that can be contacted, bartered with, or enticed to throw its weight behind a partisan agenda, we saw them as archetypes modeled to aid us while we shape our own perception of morality.

What does it matter which name or human personification we give: good? (or evil)

Why not consciously strive to conduct yourself in a way that benefits those around you? Does an injured person care what creed their rescuer aligns themselves with? Would allegiance trump the need for the injured to be healed?

Evil separates. Evil sows prejudice and distrust.

Good binds together and connects. Good radiates understanding and acceptance.

Good is.

Evil is.

You ARE.

Take responsibility for the actions, inaction, and injury you are responsible for and don’t attribute the source of that decision to any other being than yourself.

Show love. Live Love. Be Love.

*for more reading check out the wikipedia entry for: Good and Evil

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Judgement Day is Saturday! (Quick Get Lots Of Sinning In While You Can) ;)

No, not the Arnold one, the Jesus one…

Apparently some people have found some kind of “evidence” in the Bible for the 21st of May being the date that the rapture happens.  Understatement of the century: I’m skeptical. 😉 

There’s a big billboard on the corner of Grant and Pembina (the same as the one pictured below).

Lame.

_________________

Via Ad Age Blogs

In case you missed it, the beginning of the end starts this Saturday, when the Rapture strikes. At that point, the saved will be taken up to heaven and the rest of us will be left behind. The only possible way to save your sorry self is to accept Jesus as your own personal savior. And you can’t say you weren’t warned, thanks to a concerted advertising push by various parties proclaiming May 21 as the big day.

Billboards (17 in Canada alone!),subway ads, street teams (they’re all over New York), banner ads and a dedicated website are among the media properties being used to spread the good news (or bad news as the case may be). The only thing stopping me from calling these folks media savvy is the site is optimized to run best on Internet Explorer. (I was going to try to run down the total ad spending to get the word out, but the end of the world has me reconsidering my priorities.)

No earthly (or heavenly) idea what I’m talking about? The May 21 people are happy to explain in this video:

Or you can turn to this Salon explainer, which will be helpful to those readers not familiar with the finer points of end days. The Rapture? “The worthy dead will first rise up to heaven, followed shortly thereafter by about 200 million faithful followers saved by God. Those left behind will endure several months of ghastly torment. And what remains of our fair Earth will swiftly careen toward its ultimate destruction — which will occur in October.”

And who is behind all of this? 89-year-old radio host Harold Camping. Camping’s been wrong before, according to Salon, but as they say, try, try again. FamilyRadio.com, one of the sites affiliated with Camping, seems to be having its own end-of-day freakouts, no doubt overloaded by traffic.

Of course, no apocalyptic party would be complete without some Facebook jokesters or creepy Craigslist advertising. And, whether this is some ironical attempt at humor, a scam or something else, this is probably my second-favorite Rapture-related advertising:

Are you attending the rapture on May 21st, 2011? I expect to be left behind when it happens, so if you aren’t going to need your worldly possessions; be they money, cars, canned food, durable goods, etc; I would gladly take them off of your hands. Serious responses only, please. And remember, time is short! You can contact me by replying to this ad.

My favorite ad? This one’s obviously a satire — and it’s old — but the video for After the Rapture Pet Care takes the cake:

Ironically, this could all be good for newspaper circulation. Check out the last line of the full-page ad that ran in USA Today. “Note to All Readers: Please buy multiple copies of this paper and send an original to your leaders, relatives and friends with a personalized note pleading them to heed the warning.”

The circulation department had to love that — even if they won’t be around much longer to enjoy whatever boost resulted from it.

Seen any other Rapture-tising? Drop a link in the comments.

How Did Adam & Eve’s Kids Have Kids?

I asked this very question in Sunday School and got a very similar answer …

Here’s Father Jonathan Morris on FOX News answers (or rather tries not to answer) the question: “How Did Adam and Eve’s Kids Have Kids?”

Okay, so if you’re saying that there wasn’t very much information written about something that supposed to be “the Word of God”, don’t you think that takes a little away from the validity of the Bible as a whole? “Yah, but God didn’t think it was important enough to include that information” …

Another question I have: why the theatrics? Why not just abolish sin? Why would he have to impregnate a woman to create a half-god, half-man person (who is also one part of God along with, well God, and the Holy Spirit) who goes around the Middle East doing good deeds only to be screwed over in the end and murdered in a horrendously violent way.

(As a side note, I always find it funny how adamantly people argue that there isn’t human sacrifice in the Bible … Your whole religion is based around the sacrifice that Jesus made to save your sins!) **also, there are more instances of human sacrifice in the Bible than just Jesus.

Anyway, I think people should follow the spirit of the Bible (love your neighbor, be a good person) and focus less on what’s written there, as though it’s divinely created.  Ever wonder why there’s no Scientific Theory in the Bible? Cause it was written by Iron Age peoples on scrolls and only condensed into one volume much later! And even at the Council of Nicaea when the Bible was canonized (324 AD), there was still a thousand years before the Enlightenment! (18th Century)

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – in HD

A wonder discussion between Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins.  Eloquent, astute, and poignant; this is a wonderful introduction to the four Philosophers’ ideas.

All four authors have recently received a large amount of media attention for their writings against religion – some positive, and some negative. In this conversation the group trades stories of the public’s reaction to their recent books, their unexpected successes, criticisms and common misrepresentations. They discuss the tough questions about religion that face the world today, and propose new strategies for going forward.

This video is provided free online by The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS) and http://RichardDawkins.net . If you would like to support our work and help us provide more videos like this, please purchase the DVD through our online storehttp://richarddawkins.net/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&… and/or consider donating to RDFRS:http://richarddawkinsfoundation.org/foundation,donations

Check out more videos at http://richarddawkins.net

Books by these authors:
“The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins
“The End of Faith” by Sam Harris
“Letter to a Christian Nation” by Sam Harris
“God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens
“Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon” by Daniel Dennett

Filmed and Edited by Josh Timonen

Curious: Eternity Strikes

This is the 2nd installment of my feature Curious:

So I was tipped off by a friend from my home town of Morden, Manitoba that there’s a new billboard that’s basically telling everyone that they’re going to burn in hell if they’re not a Christian… nice.  The sign reads: “WE DESERVE HELL”  Again… nice.

Urgh, I’ve had a tenuous relationship with the Bible Belt.  As soon as I could, I got the hell out of there. (Pun intended) 😉  I grew up with the constant fear of the world ending and not being “properly prepared” for Jesus’ return.  What if I had impure thoughts?  What if he came right after I finished masturbating…  he’s watching me do that you know. 😉 (And if he were to come back while I was in High School that’s probably what I’d be doing, since it was High School and all; plus the other end of Morden has a billboard on Abstinence…)

So yah, Morden and Winkler were a wonderful place to grow up…if you were a devout Christian.  But even then, Christians had a hard time fitting in with the Christians.  I remember the cliques were based not on a person’s social status as jock, nerd, drama kid or whatever other stereotypical cliques you could belong to.  No, in Winkler you were in a clique based on your church’s Youth Group!  The EMMCers would rarely hang out with the MBers, and the Mbers wouldn’t hang out with the Alliance Church kids and the Alliance Church kids would never hang out with the Catholic kids…  It was all very random and confusing to me.

You’re all CHRISTIAN!? It makes no sense.  Granted there was no real animosity between the groups.  There was no real bullying or anything, but there was a definite aversion to mingling within the various Youth Groups.

I’m getting off on a tangent though.

Hell.

Yes, the terrible place that God (who’s supposed to be a God of Love, mind you) created where He sends people who don’t follow arbitrary rules that He apparently put down in this book full of fallacies and contradictions.  The only real rules that should be followed are don’t murder, don’t steal other people’s shit and be nice to your fellow human… BUT, that’s pretty much the same as EVERY SINGLE OTHER RELIGION EVER INVENTED … EVER!!!!

No, Christianity has a special blend of arbitrary in their rules for living a pure life.  My favourite one is that, apparently, God is a jealous God.  Why would he have such a human fault if he’s a deity?  He created the entire freakin’ Universe.  Why would he care whether humans believe in him if he’s capable of such phenomenal acts?  And if he did create everything for us, why bother creating anything past the atmosphere?  Why wouldn’t he just build some kind of self-contained, self-heating globe if it’s only meant for us?

Doesn’t seem very intelligent to create us, but then also create celestial objects that we’re only NOW discovering with the likes of the Hubble Telescope and (as my earlier post pointed out) that there is evidence of other universes that may have bruised ours while it was being created shortly after the Big Bang.

That brings me back to the sign.  “WE DESERVE HELL” was taken out by a Baptist Church group and there’s a link on the sign to a site called EternityStrikes.com

The site looks like it was done for a High School Web Design class.  Complete with cliche fonts and a lightning bolt by the word “strikes”.

“What will happen to YOU the moment you die?”

The site goes on to say that the world was created by God 6000 years ago and that there’s “lots of evidence which supports this”.  And a link to the supposed evidence.  I followed the link and there’s a picture of Ben Stein…

URGH!

That movie “Expelled” was the shittiest, most mindbogglingly stupid, pile of …. yah, it was not a very good movie.  Any movie that Glenn Beck promotes can’t be a good movie.

And of course, they immediately equate Darwin with Nazism as is the way with Ben Stein, Glenn Beck and the rest of FOX News, and Religious (with a capital R) people in general.

So I didn’t bother reading anymore and just closed the page.  Reading anything else would’ve just made me more angry than I already was.

There is no God.  At least not a personal God who gives a shit about whatever we’re doing on an individual, day-to-day basis.  Maybe there was some kind of higher power that started off the Universe with the Big Bang. I’m not arrogant enough to say that I know for a fact that it didn’t happen.  But we probably seem like gods to ants, and cats, and dogs.  They don’t understand what we’re doing.  And maybe there’s some scientific explanation for everything and we just haven’t had that paradigm shift yet to see it.

If I turn out to be wrong, and there is a personal God who cares what we’re doing and will judge us than he’s a fucking asshole.  Cause he has the power to end world hunger, end suffering, end war… but nah, he’d rather silently judge you for worshiping other gods than him…

Now I have no problem with people practicing their religion.  They’re free to do whatever they want.  I’m happy for them if Christianity fills a place in their life that needs filling.

But Religion is like a Penis.

It’s fine to have one.

It’s fine to be proud of it.

But don’t whip it out in public and try to shove it down people’s throats.